You wish this was your lunch

20 Jan

I have a client in the Strip District again, Hallelujah!  That means every few weeks when we meet at their office I can raid the strip for goodies and lunch.  I avoid the parking hassles of the weekend and the guilt of stepping out in the middle of a work day–because even though I work for myself I feel guilty if I am not chained to my desk or at a work event 9-5.

My new(ish) favorite Strip District lunch, that I crave, dream about, lust after comes from the S&D Polish Deli at 2204 Penn Avenue.

You’d never know when you walk in that they have hot lunches (I mean aside from the sign!).  A deli counter full of cured meats and two isles of Polish Grocery product dominate the space. But just past the freezer promising a wicked variety of Pierogis is a little window that dishes out the most luscious polish delicacies in. the. world. (or at least in Pittsburgh.) (I mean aside from someone’s Polish grandma).

I come from peasant stock.  We love our potatoes.  In fact we love all our carbs and hearty peasant food.  Cabbage, beets, cured meats made from the leftover parts.  This place is my Nirvana.

In the past I have gotten their pierogis.  Luscious little pillows of tender dough, filled with silky mashed potatoes and cheese and served with enough butter to float a battle ship.  Orgasmic. I think I fainted the first time I bit into one.  They run around $4 (ish) for 4 or you can buy them fresh or frozen and cook them at home.  Oh look, they have a website! It tells me they are $6.50 a dozen and that they come in a dizzying array of flavors, including desert flavors like blueberry.

But even better than the Pierogis (I KNOW!) is their Polish Style Halushki.  I was expecting noodles and cabbage, a combination which warms my peasant heart.  What I got though was this!  It’s noodles with bacon and farmers cheese. I’m going to pause and have a Homer Simpson Drool moment….

….Ok.  The farmers cheese, though it resembles cottage cheese, is a dryer (think crumbled feta but softer) that offers more tang than salt. The bacon brings the salt and the obligatory battleship floating butter rounds it out to make this food of dreams.  At $4.50 a plate, it’s a bargain.

The last time I went I tried their farmers cheese stuffed crepes for a change. I expected something like a blintz but the farmers cheese is richer and has a bite to it. It reminded me a bit of sweetened creme cheese.  They were delicious, though I think they’d be even better with a little fruit.

All in all I’d strongly recommend finding your way here for lunch some day.  Definitely take home some of their pierogis and other tastey treats, but for heaven’s sake make sure you try their lunch. I want to branch out and try some of their other offerings (they have Borsht!!!!!!) but every time I open my mouth to order, Polish Style Halushki bullies its way past all the other words and I and up with the same thing.  But you don’t hear me complaining!


9 Responses to “You wish this was your lunch”

  1. geekstar January 20, 2011 at 1:22 am #

    i love this place. authentic. like my grandma’s.

  2. BrettB January 20, 2011 at 1:29 am #

    There’s a pierogi seller in Mckees Rock who is ABSOLUTELY BANGING! They’re bible pushers and have lit from the crystal cathedral strewn over the place, the parking sucks balls, but the food is freaking awesome!

    They have a website too but I forget the name. So far I have yet to find a suitable eastern european joint in harrisburg. totally fing sucks. screw you state capital.

    • Jennifer England January 20, 2011 at 1:34 am #

      I know the place you are talking about. I mean to go there sometime soon. I also bought the recent groupon for the pierogi place out near that mega mall on 28 whose name I forget. Next time I have a free second I mean to go redeam them. And their may be no Eastern European food in Hburg but you have the Amish and they make some fan freakin tastic food. That’s Dutchy country. Mmmmm. Ham salad, cheese bread, apple butter. Yum.

      • BrettB January 20, 2011 at 1:51 am #

        Laymoyne has a farmers market which I’d rate 7/10

  3. mike January 20, 2011 at 1:32 am #

    Hot damn, I could score major husband points by bringing an order of that haluski home to my wife. She’s insane for haluski and those look to be the greatest ever made. Thanks for the tip.

    • Jennifer England January 20, 2011 at 1:52 am #

      Get the Pierogis too. You’ll be the husband of the year if you bring her both of those things.

  4. pghlesbian January 20, 2011 at 1:38 am #

    I have at least three people who can never identify a place to eat in the Strip, including me b/c I hate the parking, etc. Now I have a reason …

    • Jennifer England January 20, 2011 at 1:52 am #

      This is up near the end, just past firehouse lounge so its pretty easy to get parking. PLUS, if you haven’t discovered Right by Nature parking, that is right across the street(ish).

  5. Burgh Gourmand January 20, 2011 at 2:36 am #

    I like it! Will have to visit soon.

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